Wednesday, 10 Jul 2019

I could talk about how I like this recipe because of the nice balance of flavors with the bite of arugula, the sweet oranges combined with the creamy millet. Or I could talk about how eating this makes me smile to think I’m eating bird seed and how I’ve become a Euell Gibbons of sorts (for those of you too young to know who I’m talking about he was a naturalist that appeared in Grape Nuts commercials in the 70′s eating anything from pine trees to cat tails). But really, it’s much simpler than that. I like it because it just tastes good. If you are looking for something new that’s clean and refreshing and has a delicious variety of flavors give it a try yourself. Who knows what you might find yourself eating next?

Lately, I’ve been going through a pea phase.  I’ve been buying up sugar snap peas by the pound and adding them to every meal I made.  They are by far one of my most favorite vegetables. Right now they are blooming in our garden and there was no way I could pass up making a delicious meal with them.While my favorite way to eat peas is fresh out of the garden, sometimes I like to change it up a bit.  By searing or sautéing the peas, their vibrant green color pops even more and you are still able to maintain some of the crunchiness.  When I made this recipe I meant for it to be a side dish but it was so yummy that I ended up eating the whole thing!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

I’m sure almost everyone has had several different kinds of root vegetable chips. Potato, sweet potato, carrot, beet, parsnip are all standard chip material but have you ever had eggplant chips? Before making these crisps I never though of eggplant as chip material. When I think eggplant I think good… but soft and sometimes mushy. Cut in a nice thin slice eggplant can become as crispy as any other vegetable chip and since it can take on just about any flavor you want to give it you can season it with the spices of your choice for a custom design. Eggplant, it’s not just for Baba Ghanoush anymore.

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner and that means the official start of summer. Grilling, picnics, reunions and festivals will fill the days ahead and so will all the delicious foods that are found there. Burgers, potato salad, baked beans, corn and sweet juicy watermelon are some of my favorite summertime foods but it’s always good to add a little change to the menu. Baked BBQ Lentils make a fun switch up to the usual baked beans. You can make them the classic way or dress them up with some colorful additions like red peppers and corn. Whichever way you go they will be delicious.

Yup, I’m still on a pea kick!  I just can’t get enough of them right now.  This time I bought a bunch of snow peas at the grocery store and decided to whip up this fresh and crisp asian inspired salad.  I had this salad as a main dish but it would work great as a side too.  It was quick to throw together and so refreshing after a day out in the sun.  Perfect for summer!!!

It’s funny, not ha-ha funny but interesting funny, that I don’t care for cucumbers but I love pickles. There’s something about that briny sour flavor that changes them in a good way. Now I love green beans any which way so it’s only natural that pickled green beans would be a favorite of mine too. You won’t need any special equipment for these pickles and they are so easy to make you won’t get in a pickle making them, just eating them.

Black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice is so dramatic looking. It showcases other colors so well that when I found the most beautiful apricots in the market the other day I immediately thought of putting the two together. I could be happy with just those two things, a pool of black rice with a little apricot half nestled on top but I can’t settle for that, can I? No, I want something exotic and bursting with flavor but not so exotic that it’s difficult to make. This dish is just that, easy but so different and flavorful it will wow your tastebuds with the first bite. This dressing is great with chicken too so if you are a meat eater you can add some cooked chicken to make this dish a meal.

From the recipes I’ve been posting lately you would think that I have a meat obsession when nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve eaten a vegetarian diet for years and then a completely plant based diet for a year now and have never looked back. The thing is when adapting some old favorite recipes I sometimes would like the taste or texture that meat brings to a recipe. Bacon is one meat where it’s distinctive smokey/salty flavor is sometimes just what is needed to make the dish. These smoky almonds may not be bacon exactly but they do the trick in some of my favorite recipes and they make a pretty darn good (and addictive) snack all by themselves.

I love handbags.  Some women like shoes – I like handbags.  I have enough handbags that I could probably open a store and easily have enough inventory for a year.  I also collect stamps and little wooden boxes – weird, I know.  Apparently I collect cauliflower too.  Last week I opened my vegetable drawers and found I had 3 heads of cauliflower – that’s A LOT of cauliflower.  I used a bunch in my salads, shredded a whole head and made Crispy Fried Rice and even steamed a bunch for dinner one night.  Even after all that I still had a good amount of cauliflower left.  I Googled around for some recipes and got inspired after seeing a few for cauliflower couscous.  I love the way it turned out – perfect for summertime!  Enjoy.

I hope all you father’s out there had a great Father’s Day this past weekend. I had been reminiscing this past week of previous Father’s Days remembering how after church on Sunday we would all gather at my mom and dad’s house to cook out. Along with whatever was being cooked on the grill there were always fresh vegetables just picked out of my dad’s garden and strawberry shortcake made with his homegrown strawberries. What great memories!